The tragic incident of the 2020 flooding that shook the state and its environs, leaving behind tales of woes, is still fresh in their minds.
They have not forgotten the horror, the devastation and the pains occasioned by the flash flood that ravaged Niger State and brought their houses, farmland and other means of livelihood to ruins.
Not in a hurry will the families, friends and associates of persons who were swept away by the disaster, forget the tragedy that has left untold hardship for many and swept away their joy and happiness.
That was the misfortune that swooped on the state and crippled many communities as a result of flash flooding, which the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, had warned about but the warning was not taken seriously, and the people paid a huge price as a result.
This year, the same agency has again warned that severe flooding was coming between now and September and that Niger State and many others in the North-Central zone will be seriously affected. The dire warning is predicated on the fact that Niger State is one of the states in the country prone to flooding because of its location.
As a result of the topography of the state, many communities, especially those in the riverine areas of the state experience yearly flooding due to torrential rainfall and the presence of four hydroelectricity dams located in the state.
Besides the natural cause of flooding, which is as a result of torrential rainfall, residents in most urban and rural areas of the state also throw caution into the wind by dumping refuse indiscriminately in the drainage channels, streams and in most available spaces, thereby blocking the free-flow of water which eventually leads to severe flooding.
It is estimated that only five out of the 25 local government areas of the state are free from the menace of flooding and that the magnitude of the challenges associated with the disaster is often bigger than what the state can adequately contain.
But as the rains set in in earnest, the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency, NISEPA, has moved to sensitise the people to be proactive in order not to fall victims to the looming flash flooding as they suffered in 2020.
The Director General of NISEPA, Ahmed Inga, told Arewa Voice that the agency had embarked on early sensitisation of the people, especially those in the riverine areas on the need to refrain from indiscriminate dumping of refuse to avoid the annual flooding which, he said, is yielding good results.
Inga said: “Unlike in the past when most residents downstream, especially in the flood-prone areas in the state are always adamant to vacate their residents temporarily during the raining season to upstream to save their lives and properties, they are now cooperating with the agency to vacate willingly.
“In the past four years, their responses to our campaigns and sensitisation have been very impressive because they are coming to realise that what we are saying, especially on Climate Change is real and are vacating their ancestral homes willingly within short notice,” the DG remarked. (Vanguard)